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Our weekly recognition of less-than-meritorious excellence in journalism worthy of a skewed version of Pulitzer Prize consideration.
As an extension of the media-mocking venture at Townhall, Riffed From the Headlines, we once again recognize the exalted performances in our journalism industry and compile worthy submissions for the Pulitzer Prize board in numerous categories. To properly recognize the low watermark in the press, let us get right to the latest exemplars of journalistic mis-excellence.
Distinguished International Reporting
In a segment from the Down Under version of the TV news magazine, they detailed on a trend seen with some parents who strive to raise “gender-free” children. This experiment (on children) is called “Gender-Creative Parenting” and involves not designating a gender until their child is old enough to choose. Based on a book called “Raising Them,” it means parents do not raise boys or girls.
They refer to the children as “they-bies.”
Meet the ‘theybies’. Not baby boys, not baby girls. SUNDAY on #60Mins, the new parenting trend letting young children choose their own gender. pic.twitter.com/wPLc4w4ql8
— 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) March 29, 2023
Distinguished Explanatory Reporting
- Chris Vasquez – Washington Post
In a move that seems both insipid and inevitable, the Washington Post has an “Associate TikTok Producer.” Chris Vasquez uses the video platform to report on how school boards across the country suffer from money and manpower shortages because they are inundated with records requests from parents.
It is presented as a negative that parents are having an increased involvement in their children’s education, and of course in his school-sympathetic reporting, there is no consideration that the boards might alleviate these demands by making their curriculums more open and transparent for people to access.
In today’s second @washingtonpost TikTok: Schools are being flooded with records requests.
They come from parents and others scrutinizing what schools are teaching about race, gender and sexual orientation.
And they’ve forced districts to reallocate funding and staff resources. pic.twitter.com/Y5D4aeKEJ4
— Chris Vazquez (@ByChrisVazquez) March 29, 2023
Distinguished Feature Writing
- Josh Dinner – Space.com
It is a bit fascinating to learn of the various ways NASA is looking into ways of terraforming Mars. One concept involves concocting a new version of concrete while on the Red Planet, and it calls back to the Matt Damon film “The Martian.”
They have been experimenting with various components to combine with the Martian terrain and have found that potatoes will make for an ingredient to create concrete that is actually stronger than current, Earth-bound versions. The oddity is that this was discovered after trying out urine and blood as options.
Potatoes are better than human blood for making space concrete bricks, scientists say
— What the News (@WhatTheNewsFeed) March 25, 2023
Distinguished National News
- Charlotte Klein – Vanity Fair
One of the reasons that the Ron DeSantis-obsessed media is so bothered by the governor and his communications staff is their willingness to battle back against journalist bias and even refuse to play along with their demands.
Klein, in writing about the prospect of a DeSantis presidential run bemoans another component of the comms team — these guys just don’t provide information to the press at an approved level!
“DeSantisworld doesn’t leak because DeSantisworld basically doesn’t really exist,” a political reporter familiar with Florida politics and DeSantis’s operation told me. “It’s like four, five people who know what’s going on.”
Ron DeSantis keeps the media at arm’s length—but as 2024 buzz picks up, news organizations are jockeying for journalists who may give them a leg up.
— VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair) March 24, 2023
Distinguished Public Service
In yet another bid to dress up the flagging Jose Biden economy, CNN is here to assist us in how to thrive while not fully admitting that we are suffering hardships. It was just this past November that the President suggested we could get through this by just switching to eating generic raisin bran.
It would seem things have not improved. CNN now sells us a solution, as the price of eggs and other items have spiked. We can now all switch over to eating ramen noodles for breakfast.
The high price of eggs and other breakfast staples is forcing some to look for cheaper breakfast alternatives. How about ramen?
— CNN (@CNN) March 29, 2023
Distinguished Cultural Commentary
- Julia Moskin – New York Times
Not to imply that The New York Times is catering to an elitist clientele, but as we are grappling with the harsh realities of our grocery receipts, here is the outlet alerting us that croissants are not going away anytime soon. Well, thank the food overlords for that good news!
Just as the rabble are adjusting to a ramen breakfast, here is The Times with this “Let them eat croissants” feature. The only thing more tone-deaf than this headline was our favorite quote from the piece:
– “The colorful Cronut became the internet’s first celebrity pastry, generating media attention and long lines for monthly limited-edition drops.”
It’s been a decade since the pastry chef Dominique Ansel introduced the Cronut. While other trends have come and gone, professional bakers continue to push the limits of what croissants can do.
See some of their creations. ?
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 29, 2023